Where was The Queen's Gambit filmed? The Aztec Palace Hotel and Filming Locations

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon
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Although The Queen's Gambit appears to be based on a real story, the plot is an adaptation of Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name. The series revolves around chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s life, from her childhood in an orphanage, where she first learns by playing her custodian in a basement, to her rise through the Grandmaster ranks.

The main cast of this great series includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth (The Miniaturist, Glass), Isla Johnston as young Beth, Marielle Heller as her adoptive mother Alma Wheatley, Bill Camp (The Night Of, The Outsider) as the custodian Mr. Shaibel, Rebecca Root as Miss Lonsdale, Harry Melling (Harry Potter, The Devil All the Time) as Harry Beltik, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Maze Runner, Game of Thrones) as Benny Watts.

The Queen's Gambit is set in Lexington, Kentucky, but most of the series was filmed in Berlin (Germany), with a few additional scenes shot in Ontario (Canada). Here is our (almost spoiler-free) guide to the filming locations:

French Restaurant
The first scenes in 1967 Paris (which later continue in episode six) were filmed at Haus Cumberland in Kurfürstendamm in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. The luxurious Café Grosz on the ground floor was once part of a Grand Hotel built at the beginning of the 20th century.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Meadowvale bridge crash
The fatal bridge accident is one of the few locations shot in Ontario. The narrow Meadowvale Road Bridge is located in between the Rouge National Urban Park and Hillside areas in Toronto.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Methuen orphanage
The Methuen Home orphanage for girls is a manor (or a "castle") located in the outskirts of Berlin called Schloss Schulzendorf. The tower of this late 19th-century Renaissance-style villa looked too much like medieval Europe, so it was CGI'd in post-production. From a very young age, Beth becomes addicted to the green pills (a tranquilizer) that help her to picture a chessboard with moving pieces on the ceiling of her room.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Clemens Franz - Map


The Queen's Gambit House
As it would have been hard to find a house and neighborhood to portray a Midwest-Southern state like Kentucky in Germany, The Queen's Gambit house was filmed in Cambridge, Ontario (15 Brant Road South). The city council reported that the production only scheduled six days of filming in the Canadian city. The Fairfield High School is the Western Technical-Commercial School in High Park North, Toronto.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Maps: House / Secondary school


Ben Snyder Lexington
A Redditor figured out that the exterior of the Ben Snyder's clothing store from the second episode is the Winners department store at Front Street and Berczy Park in Toronto. The vertical sign is inspired by a 1944 picture of the real shop in Lexington.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Google Maps


Lexington Ky clothes store
Beth and her mother make a big jump when they step inside because -movie magic- the interior of the store is the Humana secondhand and vintage shop at 3 Frankfurter Tor in Berlin.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Bradley's drugstore
Bradley's pharmacy was also filmed back in Canada. Film crews built a set on the corner of Walnut and King streets in Hamilton, where the old Bohemian Palace cafe was located.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Henry Clay High School
Although there is a Henry Clay High School in Lexington, the one used in the series is the Max Taut Schule in Rummelsburg (Berlin). Built in 1927, this educational complex was once Germany’s largest school.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Map


Cincinnati chess tournament
In episode 3, Beth and her mother Alma travel to Cincinnati to compete in the open chess tournament. The hotel lobby is the Rathaus Spandau, the City Hall of this Berlin district. The room with a wood-paneled ceiling was filmed in Berlin's Meistersaal. This 1910 historic concert hall near Potsdamer Platz is today a venue for events and private parties. From 1976 to 1991 the Meistersaal became famous worldwide when it was transformed into the Hansa recording studio headquarters, used by top artists like David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop, U2, Jon Bon Jovi, and Nick Cave, just to name a few.
Image courtesy of Nerflix and In3s - Maps: Spandau / Meistersaal


Fairfield High School
In the same episode, Doubled Pawns, Beth is invited to a house party with some girls from high school. The house is located very close to Beth's home at 93 Salisbury Ave in Cambridge. Located in the same city, an 1879 heritage mansion at 16 Blenheim Road was used to film a short scene in the 7th episode. Only the large wooden loggia-style porch of the house appears in the series, as you can see in the lower image.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map 1 / Map 2


Hotel Mariposa Las Vegas
The US Open held in the Hotel Mariposa in Las Vegas is the Palais am Funkturm building of Messe Berlin. Built in the 1950s, this large exhibition complex is located in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of the city. The entrance, shot from the interior Summer Garden side, was modified via digital effects adding palm trees and a new building.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Berlin Messegelände - Map


Las Vegas tournament
The Palais am Funkturm interior hall is Berlin’s largest ballroom, featuring a retractable staircase and a height-adjustable chandelier.


Aztec Palace Hotel
In episode 4, Middle Game, Beth meets her first Russians in Mexico, the boy named Georgi and the master Vasily Borgov. The Aztec Palace Hotel was filmed in the foyer of the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Mitte (Berlin). The original 1919 Expressionist interior of the theatre, designed by Hans Poelzig, was unfortunately destroyed in the '80s as GDR authorities declared the old structure unsafe. Nowadays, the new show palace is famous for hosting complex spectacles that use advanced lighting and over a hundred performers. The scenes in the zoo were filmed in the Berlin Zoological Garden.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin - Map


Ohio Chess Championship
The campus of the Ohio US Championship in 1967 from episode five, Fork, was filmed at St. Andrew's College in Aurora (Ontario). However, the interior hall is the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Berlin in Zehlendorf (Evangelische Hochschule Berlin).
Image courtesy of Netflix - Maps: St. Andrew's College / Evangelische Hochschule


Benny flat in New York
Benny’s apartment exterior in New York was created by adding extra floors to some terraced houses in St Joseph St, Toronto.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Google Maps


Bode Museum as Paris
Many scenes from episode six in 1967 Paris were filmed in the Bode Museum of Berlin. Located in the central Museum Island, this magnificent gallery specializes in Byzantine art, sculptures, coins, and medals.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Google Maps


Queens Gambit restaurant
The cafe restaurant is the entrance hall of the museum, featuring the equestrian statue of Frederick William I.
Image courtesy of Micharl Foto


Bear Hall Berlin
The scenes of the tournament in Moscow were filmed in the Bear Hall of the Old City Hall of Berlin (Der Bärensaal im Alten Stadthaus). Built the heart of the city at the turn of the 20th-century, the hall serves as a venue for weddings, events, and parties.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Moscow chess tournament banner
Pictured here is the facade of Berlin's Old City Hall with the cool 1968 Tournament of Champions banner.
Image courtesy of Netflix and David Merrett


The Queen's Gambit hotel
The hotel in Moscow is the facade of a Stalinist era apartment block in Karl-Marx-Allee (Friedrichshain). This monumental socialist boulevard, built in East Germany between 1952 and 1960, was filled with spacious and luxurious apartments for workers.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Google Maps


Panorama Bar Kino International
The restaurant of the hotel in Moscow is the Panorama Bar of Kino International, a simple but elegant 1963 cinema located on Karl-Marx-Allee.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Das Damengambit drehorte
The final scene with the white queen Beth, walking in the streets of Moscow, meeting comrades chess-players, was shot at Rosengarten Square, also located in the Karl-Marx-Allee.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of The Queen's Gambit? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

NOTICE: If you’re using this information on your website, please credit and link to this page as a source.
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If you enjoyed the series as much as I did, here is a link to the original novel by American writer Walter Tevis that inspired the show. The book was highly praised for the technical accuracy of its depictions of chess, and its mix of the thriller and sports genres:

book
This article contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. This article was written completely independently.

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30 comments
  1. Thank you!!! What about the Vegas Hotel? That what pretty gorg.

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    1. Hotel Mariposa is in Messehallen (Berlin Charlottenburg, Hammarskjöldplatz)

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    2. Looks like the Cabana Bay Hotel, florida to me

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    3. That's great, thanks a lot!

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  2. I'm pretty sure the zoo in Mexico city was Berlin Zoologischer Garten.
    The rooftop pool could be "Thermen am Europacenter".

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  3. beginning of first episode, chess game in Paris 1967 location is Cafe Grosz at Kurfuerstendamm, Berlin - closed since end of 2019.

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  4. I think ben snyder's store is filmed at Humana, second hand store, Frankfurter Tor in Berlin

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  5. The one-lane bridge where the car crash takes place is located within, surprisingly, the Toronto city limits (albeit in a rural part near the zoo). Specifically, it's immediately north of 2269 Meadowvale Road. FYI, I found it using an excellent website about bridges: the link to this specific bridge is https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=ontario/meadowvaleroad/.

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  6. I saw on reddit that the pharmacy is located at 2 Walnut Street South (corner of King & Walnut) in the city of Hamilton, Ontario... and a quick search on Google Maps confirms it.

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  7. Max Taut and Henry Clay do not have a lot in common, but in the second episode "Exchanges" they share a school building entrance real and fictional :)

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    1. In the last episode they use my car (as TAXI) to drive in front of the MaxTautSchule 😁

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  8. Episode 5, the auditorium is in the architecture faculty of TU Berlin: https://myscissorella.blogspot.com/2013/02/hans-scharoun-horsaal-tu-berlin-1963-68.html

    The cafeteria scene in the same episode was also shot in that building.

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    1. It is the "Evangelische Hochschule Berlin" :-)
      https://www.instagram.com/p/CHP9Tz4gYT0/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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  9. We think the Ohio college might be Ohio University in Athens.

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  10. I believe the Cincinnati hotel is the Netherland Plaza/Omni Netherland.

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  11. the hotel in Cincinnati is Rathaus Berlin-Spandau, the city hall of one of the districts of Berlin.

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  12. Hey folks,
    Many scenes have been filmed in Berlin in the former Heinrich-von-Kleist-Oberschule in Berlin Moabit. We are neighbours and have been informed about the filming several times.

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  13. I’d like to know more about the magnificent glass in the Aztec Palace Hotel. Very Frank Lloyd Wright inspired. Does this still exist anywhere?

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  14. Does anyone know the filming location for the entrance to Fairfield High School? It looks familiar to me, and I can't find this info anywhere.

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    1. If that’s the one in episode 2, it’s Western Technical Commercial School in Toronto. Lots of films are shot there bc of the beautiful facade.

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    2. It is the front of Western Tech in Toronto. From what I remember, they were only filming there for a couple of days.

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  15. Chess Championship in the 3rd part is in the Heinrich-von-Kleist-Oberschule in Berlin Moabit.

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  16. The ballroom = Palais am Funkturm / Messe Berlin.

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  17. Just fyi...Miss Lonsdale was the religion/choir leader. Beth's adoptive mother was Alma Wheatley played by Marielle Heller. But thanks for this article. Answered a lot of questions.

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  18. The Fairfield High School exterior is actually Western Technical & Commercial School at 125 Evelyn Crescent in Toronto, Ontario. It's a 5 minute walk from my home & is a common shooting location. This also means that they didn't only shoot in Cambridge, Ontario but also Toronto.

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  19. By the way, the new Friedrichstadt-Palast only shares the name with the old one - it is not built at the same location!

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  20. Where did they get the name for the Methuen orphanage? I grew up in a town called Methuen in Massachusetts.

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  21. In the episode wherr she plays benny in the cafeteria and keeps losing, where is that filmed?

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